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3.1 13,989 Ratings

Directed by : Ashim Ahluwalia

Release Date :

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Daddy is a political crima drama film based on the life of famous gangster turned politician Arun Gawli. Starring Arjun Rampal in the lead, the film talks about the controversial life of the Arun Gawli who is being portrayed on screen by Arjun Rampal. With Daddy, Arjun has also turned a producer and has apparently co-written ...more


“Arjun's solid performance & a tight screenplay will make you overlook its flaws.”

Daddy Credit & Casting

Arjun Rampal


Cast (in credits order)

Daddy Audience Review

This Daddy not strongest

Rated 3.5 / 5
by Smita Vyas Kumar (6,903 DM Points) | See all my reviews

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Daddy is a biopic on the life and times of the dreaded gangster turned politician Arun Gawli aka Daddy. On the whole, it is a rather interesting watch.

The movie traces the rise of Arun Gawli from being the son of an impoverished mill worker to being one of Mumbai's most feared gangsters. The first half traces his career graph as he moves from small time jobs like looting matka dens to bigger things like murders. The second half sees him at the top of his game and his attempt at reforming and remodelling himself as a politician and social worker. It does set a brisk pace most of the time except for a while in the second half when it starts to sag around the middle till it picks up steam again.

The movie evokes the 70s era very faithfully from the clothes to the cars. It has a sepia feel to it which takes you right back into the Mumbai of the 70s. It is interesting to see how he converted Dagdi chawl into a fortress with a big iron gate and secret passageways and rooms set up for shooting practice. You would think that only villains in movies can have those sort of hide-outs but fact is always stranger than fiction isn't it?.

The other thing that lends authenticity is the excellent casting of the movie. The actors are totally deglamourized and have none of the sheen that you see in filmi villains. Arjun Rampal who is nowhere Arun Gawli's body type manages to look very similar to him thanks to the clothes and the clever use of prosthetics. However, he doesn't give us a glimpse of the real Arun Gawli. He keeps an expressionless face more or less through the movie and the façade cracks very few times to give us an insight into who the man really is. I don't know if that is by intention or design but it does leave you a bit dissatisfied. Aishwarya Rajesh as his wife provides able support. The actors who play his friends such as Rajesh Shringarpure who plays his best friend Rama add the heft and texture without which the movie would have fallen flat. Nishikant Kamat's Inspector who has made Gawli his life mission is impressive though I feel he could have been drawn a bit sharper. Farhan Akhtar acts as Bhai (a thinly veiled Dawood) in a brief but impressive cameo.

The interesting part of the movie is how the movie portrays Gawli almost as an innocent who became this gangster due to circumstances more than will. His other gang members all slowly die till he finds himself propelled to the top throne. The movie would have us believe that under the ruthless killer that is lies a man who wants a simpler life. He is seen as a 'fattu' at the start, too scared to even shoot but gradually assumes the mantle of a gangster. When he tries to become a politician and gets booed he looks like a child who has been punished in school rather than a gangster and that is I guess supposed to win our sympathy.

The other part that was interesting to me is the nexus between police and gangsters where they are all mixed up with each other and even the police have favourites. So the Inspector is on a witch hunt with Gawli but lets Bhai escape to Dubai. No one is clean and everything is tinged in grey.

The movie would have been sharper and more focused if it hadn't done so much going back and forth. That takes the edge off his coming into his own as a gang leader besides confusing me terribly and lessening the impact The movie is almost soft in spite of the horrendous amounts of violence and that is at odds with the central character.

Daddy is an interesting watch that could have been sharper and deadlier if it had cast a more ruthless eye on its central character. Even then it is worth a watch for the recreation of the era and a peek into the underworld.

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